In these challenging times, or perhaps because of them, radio continues to play an important role in the lives of consumers, and the majority of radio listeners are receptive to sponsorship messages on the platform. Around 156 million Americans 18+ — 63% of adults — listen to AM/FM radio daily, and they are attracted to it for several reasons.
That’s according to “Radio: Live on Air and Everywhere,” a recent survey conducted by NPR and Edison Research, which also identified six segments of radio listeners, based on why they listen:
- Radio Heads (9% of radio listeners) — Listen for all audio needs; listen to the most radio;
- Connection Seekers (16% of radio listeners) — Listen for company and connection;
- Infomaniacs (18% of radio listeners) — Listen for their need to consume news and information;
- Rhythm Rockers (27% of radio listeners) — Listen for their need to consume music;
- Laidback Listeners (17% of radio listeners) — Listen to radio only in the background;
- Habitualists (13% of radio listeners) — Listen to radio when it is the only option available.
AM/FM radio listeners are more engaged with ads on radio than ads on TV or social media, according to the research, which also said that the heaviest users of radio are also the most open to its advertising messages.
The survey suggested an interesting breakdown of NPR vs. AM/FM listeners. When ranked by time spent listening, the leading three groups, Radioheads, Connection Seekers and Infomaniacs preferred NPR. On the other hand, the trailing three, Rhythm Rockers, Laidback Listeners and Habitualists, listened more to AM/FM radio.
The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick.